Research & Resources

Thirty Years of BASICS: Dissemination and Implementation Progress and Challenges

The first clinical trial of the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) was launched at the University of Washington in 1990. Since that time, multiple trials have demonstrated the efficacy of BASICS and related approaches in a variety of young adult populations, and this information has been widely disseminated. However, in practice, BASICS implementation varies considerably, including formats and mediums (e.g., group, telehealth, written/electronic feedback) not studied in the original research. Even if delivered in an individual, in-person format, implementation can stray substantially from the original design. While adaptations may be necessary to address campus resource constraints or other barriers to implementation, they can have unknown impacts on intervention effectiveness. Thus, despite widescale efforts to disseminate and implement BASICS, challenges remain, and there are several critical research gaps that need to be addressed to support campuses in implementing BASICS successfully. This paper reviews several ways in which BASICS has been adapted to address these challenges, provides recommendations for best implementation practices, and suggests future research needed to improve implementation and effectiveness of BASICS going forward.
This paper, “Thirty years of BASICS: Dissemination and implementation progress and challenges,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Psychology of addictive behaviors.

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